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A small story in the context of the rest of the world is the UK Government's call for the banning of forthcoming computer game, Medal of Honor. British Defence Secretary Liam Fox has called for the ban because unlike its predecessors the game is set in Afghanistan, where of course both US and UK troops are still dying.

Dr. Fox is incensed and outraged that such a thing should be used for entertainment and has said so. His Government Department has made it clear (and he hasn't objected) that this is a personal view.

There are complex issues about freedom at stake here. There is also the historical and cultural perspective; the people who died in World War II, when the previous games in the series were set, were no less real than the people now losing their lives in Afghanistan; nobody minded when during the following decade people started turning movies out about them. Clearly there are other sensitivities in play now.

Game developers will need to start considering this sort of issue. If Government Ministers are going to start objecting to games on grounds of taste then this could lead to difficulties obtaining distribution.

Equally, though, this sort of publicity could have Electronic Arts rubbing its hands like anything. Government Ministers drawing attention to a new game? That would be great for sales. Saying they object? Evan better - OK, in the next one we go for broke and the kitten gets it...

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Last Post by dirkmack
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This can only improve sales of this game. This is simply one man's personal preference. I do not like war games because I do not think war and entertainment to be a wholesome mix for teens. But that is my view. Others no doubt have another opinion. I wish all games could have a more educational twist. Every time a child spends hours at a computer game they should in someway benefit more directly from the experience.

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Most video games do benefit the user in some way or another. Hand-eye coordination is a widely known one, for instance. Another, brainstorming and fast planning skills. If you keep dying by getting shot at one point in the story, then you must make up a plan(brainstorming). If you are playing multiplayer, then you need a quick plan to win.

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How many years do we need to train to improve hand-eye coordination? How much better do we really get? Is it worth spending so many hours of our lives in virtual combat? Not many of us are soldiers. I have no real interest in shooting anyone. Not even in the virtual world. It may be fun for awhile but steals too much time. Life is short. Maybe if I was able to learn some life skill as I shoot then I would love it. I prefer to teach youths how to deal with difficult confrontations and how to avoid direct physical assaults rather than teach them how to aim and fire. The mind is the true battlefield and guns are not helpful in the mind.

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